Conversations

Leo Wang. 26 years old - Leo is the English name he chose for himself. Taken from Leonardo Da Vinci because of his love of art.


We were walking down a busy street in Luoyang when a young man walking the opposite direction greeted us and asked if we needed any help. This was not surprising in and of itself. We have frequently been greeted on the street and offered aid, once by a man whose entire grasp of English was 'can I help you?'. Leo on the other hand turned out to be more than just helpful, but also a thoughtful and intelligent person we will long remember. We had a very interesting conversation ranging from Christianity to the spy plane incident. He agreed to answer our 'ten questions'.

1. Where are you from?
From here, Luoyang (in the Henan Province). I have lived here all my life.

2. What is your occupation? Why?
I am a Government Officer in a Labor Services branch. (Leo tried to explain this further but it was a little complicated)

3. Do you enjoy it, or would you rather do something else?
No! I hate it. It is a very boring job and I have little in common with my co-workers, but it has a good salary and good benefits. My father helped me to get this job -- he is the leader of a factory and is well connected. I mainly do typing and work on the computers. The government pays for my apartment and if I finish my work I have plenty of free time. I enjoy art. I would rather do painting for a living. I would love to move to Shanghai but it is very difficult. I don't know if I have the skills. I like Shanghai because the weather is good and the people are more open minded.

4. Have you traveled much or been outside your country?
No, but I have traveled a lot in China. I enjoy visiting Yinchuan for the culture and had wanted to go to Xi'an this past National day holiday but my friends didn't want to go. They were busy with studies. Guilin, Yunan and Lijang are also very beautiful.

5. Tell me about your family? Are you arried?
I have an older sister. I am not married. My parents live in Luoyang. My father is the leader of a factory. He is very successful and knows a lot of people, which is good in such a small town. (Luoyang has pop. 500 000)

6. What is your favorite food and why?
No real favorite. Chinese food. Nothing specific.

7. Why are you here? (on this train, in this bar, etc.)
(Not really applicable)

8. Do you have access to the Internet?
Yes. Internet access is very easy. I enjoy it. Now my computer at home does not work but service is very cheap here because this province is very poor. It costs about 1RMB ($1 = 8.2RMB)per hour or 60RMB each month.(Leo took us to the Public Library where we both used computers for about two hours. Total cost = 50 cents)

9. Where did you learn your English? Why did you learn it?
At the People's Liberation Army Foreign Language University. It is a very good school here in Luoyang. Many people from the army study foreign languages. My oral English is quite good but I am lazy and I think maybe my written English is not so good. My major was International Trade. (Note: his oral English was excellent, which he attributes to his English teacher who was here as a Christian missionary last year).

10. What do you do for fun?
Tennis, painting, swimming - it is very expensive but I have a good salary and buy a monthly pass to a hotel health spa, travel. I would love to go to Europe one day. I enjoy movies. I have a DVD player and can buy DVD's for only 8 RMB (about $1 USD). I like watching American movies. Favorite Movie? Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, althought most Chinese don't like it, not enough fighting. I love the films of Ang Lee. He can show both cultures in his films. Last Movie you saw? Pearl Harbor. I didn't like it very much. It was OK for fun but for this, Titanic was better. My Best Friend's Wedding and Four Weddings and a Funeral are very good.

Nigel & Julie
10/09/01

   

 

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